Review: Cygnett WorkMate Pro Shock-Resistant Case for iPhone 4/4S
WorkMate Pro for iPhone 4/4S ($20) may not be the newest of Cygnett's cases, but it's quite possibly the most interesting design in the company's lineup. Offered in two colors -- black with gray accents and gray with orange accents -- it's a dual-layer anti-shock case with soft rubber on the inside and hard plastic on the outside. Unlike Apollo, the layers separate into two distinct pieces, with screen film included in the package to complete its iPhone coverage. It's not the most premium-feeling case from this company, but the quantity of protection for the price is pretty impressive.
The silicone inner layer offers significant protection, covering all of the back and sides of the iPhone, save for openings for the camera and flash, silent switch, headphone port and noise-canceling mic, and a single hole along the bottom edge. It also forms a protective lip around the front edge, and runs up to the bottom of the display, covering the Home Button. We like that WorkMate Pro’s rubber piece is so thorough, however, the rubber feels somewhat cheap, and not entirely different from what can be found at shopping mall kiosks. It also just slightly covers the bottom corners of the screen, which doesn’t limit iPhone use in any real way, but doesn’t look quite right.
WorkMate Pro’s rubber layer has a distinctive rear design with a series of raised, upwards-pointing arrowheads that fit through matching openings in the matte-finished hard plastic piece. These provide alignment and add some character to what’s otherwise a familiar enough combination of materials. The plastic, which clips around the sides and latches over the center of the top edge, serves a couple of purposes. First and foremost, it adds an extra layer of protection, which is always valuable when it comes to the fragile glass body of the iPhone 4 and 4S. It also provides structure for the rubber, which is otherwise a bit loose. The overall thickness is just about the same as most plastic/rubber models, and totally acceptable. One downside of the dual-layer construction is that the volume buttons sit just below flush with the plastic, making it easier to miss a push.
Although it’s not the most amazing $20 iPhone case we’ve ever found, WorkMate Pro is certainly a very good value for the price. It’s unquestionably protective, and has a distinctive rugged style that many users will like. The main thing that would propel it from “really good” to “great” status is the choice of materials, especially the rubber. That said, WorkMate Pro merits a strong general recommendation, and is one of the more compelling two-piece cases we’ve seen for the iPhone 4/4S.